Sheet music

Musical contribution - December 2012

bladmuziek met potlood

O little town of Bethlehem (Evert van de Veen) - We have opted for an internationally famous Christmas song this month, with an origin which is equally impressive. The poet was American (Philips Brooks 1835-1893). He produced this poem during a visit to Israel (1865). The melody’s composer/arranger is an Englishman (Ralph Vaughan-Williams 1872-1958). The organ arrangement was produced by a Dutch man (Evert van de Veen; born in 1963).

The introduction is based on the choral’s first 2 beats. These beats are repeated 3 times: F-major, g-minor and a-minor. Followed by 2 times 2 beats in conclusion: a-minor and F-major. Evert has suggested flute 8 and 4 for the registration. I have therefore also used this recommendation.

The melody is perfectly suitable for a canon and both melody lines can be followed very clearly with a soft reed stop (you can hear a Vox Humana with a tremulant especially for this stop in the recording,).

And we finish off with the choral. I myself have chosen to play this with a choir of strings and a solo stop on lines 2 and 4. You also have the option of repeating the introduction, after the canon, register up per line and to subsequently play a much stronger chorale. In short: Evert has certainly given us plenty of ideas to let our creativity run wild.

We would like to express our heartfelt wish that the tranquillity and peace in Bethlehem – which this song talks about – won’t be disrupted in these turbulent times.

On behalf of all the Johannus employees and management team;

We would like to wish you a very Peaceful Christmas.

André van Vliet